The BRE National Solar Centre in St Austell, Cornwall, will open in April and is designed to help industry and government deliver on the solar PV opportunities set out in DECC’s recent 2012 Renewables Roadmap Update.
With funding from the EU and support from Cornwall Council and DECC, the BRE National Solar Centre hopes to drive innovation, cost reduction and increased confidence in the marketplace through knowledge generation.
According to BRE, the centre will engage with organisations outside the traditional scope of the industry to ensure PV is better understood as a technology so its potential can be realised.
The centre will provide:
BRE director Nick Tune, said: “We have a real opportunity here to drive the uptake of solar PV. The sector has seen a dramatic reduction in installed costs by up to 50% from 2010-2012. The centre will help the sector deliver further reductions so solar PV can become competitive with other low-carbon electricity sources.”
And energy and climate change minister Greg Barker, commented: “Solar is an exciting and rapidly growing clean, green source of power and has a valuable part to play in the UK’s energy mix. The new Cornwall based National Solar Centre will help drive down costs, improve efficiency, catalyse growth, spur innovation and develop expertise on the ground.
“We have seen dramatic reductions in costs of the technology over the past year and that’s why we have made changes to our incentives under Feed-in-Tariffs and the Renewables Obligation, to help put this industry on a more sustainable footing and ensure solar continues to thrive in the future.”